Rebellion, resistance and love. The title of Daniela Vega's autobiography summarizes her life philosophy in three words, a phrase that has gone viral on social media and that has been graffitied throughout the streets of Santiago. It is the motto of an actress who has generated millions of followers worldwide, people who have accompanied her in the rise as one of the most recognized names in Latin American cinema. From starring in A Fantastic Woman in 2019, winning the first Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film for Chile, up to her passionate activism for the trans and LGBTIQ + community, Daniela Vega is a force to be reckoned with. Today we invite you to delve further into her incredible and multifaceted talent, seen not only through Netflix and Amazon, but right here in our Thursdays of Chilean Cinema program. For one week and around the world, we present to you Mauricio López's The visit and Iñaki Velasquez's The night, unsheltered.
In The Visit, Daniela is Elena, a woman who returns to her childhood home to go to her father's funeral. There she is forced to face her family for the first time in years, people who have not participated in her transition process. Produced by Pinda Producciones and premiering at the Guadalajara Film Festival in 2014, Mauricio López's debut film weaves a deep reflection about the conservatism, transphobia and silence reigned by the Chilean upper class.
In an interview conducted by CinemaChile in 2014, López told us about the process of finding Elena and Vega's incredible abilities, one that led to her nomination for Best Actress at the Rencontres du Cinéma Sud-Américain de Marseille: “I did a casting where the priority was to find someone who understood from their own experience the world we wanted to portray. This is how we arrived to Daniela. As soon as I saw her, I knew that she was the character in the film. After we got together and talked at length about the movie, I saw that she really identified with the role. What most caught my attention about Dani was her ability to express emotions through her eyes ”.
The night, unsheltered, by Iñaki Velásquez, Daniela is Gabriela, a woman who works in a queer nightclub in Santiago. A quiet afternoon before a night of partying is interrupted from one moment to the next. Based on true events, Velásquez raises questions about homophobic violence, highlighting the resistance and solidarity of the LGBTIQ + community. Vega's performance striked an emotional chord, especially for audiences that have experienced any kind of discrimination and marginalization. In the cast she is accompanied by Katty Kowaleczko, Daniel Antivilo and Sebastián Ayala, premiering nationally at the Lebu Film Festival.
In 2018, Velásquez told us more about the origins of the short film: “This movie is based on a real assault, which occurred in Santiago just three weeks after the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Florida, where 49 people were murdered. Having that fresh context in mind, in which two armed men enter the premises changes everything. The terror that everyone went through, especially the drag queen, was a terrible homophobic attack. That's what makes this story powerful. "
Through a mixture of art and activism Daniela Vega's career is an unprecedented hybrid of forces, something that was persistent both before (The visit) and after (The night, unsheltered) her career was launched into the stratosphere, becoming an icon with global impact. We invite you to continue discovering her passion and talent, and the filmmakers who create the transcendent stories that she shines in.